BP's Gulf Geyser Stops, But Will Cap Hold?

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British Petroleum was cautiously optimistic on Friday that it had stopped the oil that was gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.

On Thursday, the company used its new containment cap to finally stop one the biggest environmental disaster the U.S. has ever faced. However, BP and others are cautioning that it's not time to celebrate just yet.

After nearly three months -- and after as much as 180 million gallons of crude oil escaped -- it appears that BP has managed to contain its runaway geyser.

The "spillcam" now appears tame without the churning cloud of oil and gas the world has watched for weeks. Gulf residents, BP officials, and even President Barack Obama, were optimistic on hearing the news.

"I think this is a positive sign," Obama said.

Click play for an oil spill update with CBN News Reporter Dale Hurd.

"Now that the oil is stopped, if we can get back to what we were doing before, that would be awesome," said Gulf resident Anny Bryan.

But the next step is critical. BP will measure the pressure of the oil on the new containment cap to see if the well holds.

"We need to be cautious right now," said Doug Suttles, BP Chief Operating Officer.

"If there are no leaks, no breaks in the pipes for the next 48 hours, I think we can declare partial victory," said Michio Kaku, Physics Professor at the City University of New York.

In a worst-case scenario, the oil could be forced down into the bedrock and the mounting pressure could rupture the sea floor. Leaks deep in the well bore could also be found, meaning that oil would continue to flow. In addition, there's always the possibility another explosion could trigger the geyser once again.

But Gulf residents are ready to finish the clean up and move on.

"We need that closure so we can finish cleaning up the oil and get our life back," said Billy Nungusser, Plaquemines Parish president.

Scientists say the oil slicks could disappear within a week. But they are also expected to convert to another form, and it's unknown how long the oil will still be washing ashore in the form of tar balls or disc-shaped patties.

Officials say the remains of the oil could last for years.

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Heather Sells

Heather Sells

CBN News Reporter

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